8.30am, 12 Aug 2008, Quebec City. Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section.
This morning, our Section presented the revised guidelines for library services for young adults (which will be available at the Section webpage soon).
Specifically, it was Patricia Muller from USA (Left in the picture) who did the presentation.
Not surprising to see 140 to 150 people attending. As with previous years, there are lots of people interested in Children and Young Adults libraries.
In her presentation, Pat emphasised that the librarian should have some form of training before assigning them to Young Adult (YA) services. At least, not simply because so-and-so staff is available.
"You cannot provide effective services to Young Adults without their inputs," says Pat. And the work you assign to them has to be meaningful (i.e. not ask them to paste stuff or as additional labour).
The revised guidelines features "Ten Service Goals":
The ten goals are not meant to be prescriptive. Some countries may want to modify those goals.
- The library has established clear policy statements concerning the right to free access by young adults to library resources and information sources; and respect for the rights of young adults to select materials appropriate to their needs without censorship.
- The library program for young adults is effectively managed according to best practices.
- There is equitable distribution of resources to support programs and services for young adults.
- Library staff is (should this be are rather than is?) knowledgeable about adolescent development and age appropriate resources for young adults, inclusive of those with special needs.
- The library provides a wide spectrum of current materials of interest to young adults to encourage life-long learning, literacy, and reading motivation.
- The library provides resources to support the educational needs of young adults.
- The library assists young adults in acquiring the skills to effectively access all library resources and become information and computer literate.
- The library fosters youth development by providing opportunities for young adults to participate in planning and implementing library programs and services for themselves.
- The library creates an area just for young adults that is attractive and interesting to them.
- The library works in partnership with other community agencies and organizations to support all aspects of healthy, successful youth development.
Pat advised that it's not possible to accomplish all ten goals. Just start with one and move on to others. Sound advice.
Pat also said the website is a important marketing tool.
"Flashy - that's what they want!"
She acknowledged that having a website would require resources. The key thing was to try (I say, try a blog!)
I took some shots of participants snapping up the printed copies after the presentation.
The questions (and the inevitable commentary) came fast and furious.
"How do you treat young adults? As teens or as adults?"
"Should we use the term 'Young Adults' or 'Teens'?".
One suggestion was to use the word teens. One participant shared that teens preferred to be considered as adults.
One participant asked if anyone has integrated music as part of library itself (rather than a library programme).
I scribbled a note to Ingrid, who was chairing the session. I asked that she tell the participants about our mailing list. Those excellent questions and comments ought to be posted there!
I suspect many in the room were practitioners. Who were interested in "How To" questions.
Seems we all face the same issues when it comes to delivering services to teens.
[Next: Part 10]